Friday, March 11, 2011

A few events of the day.

We were saddened to hear this morning about the massive earthquake in Japan. Nancy and I had an opportunity to spend a couple of weeks there and we became quite found of the area, the people and the culture. Hopefully the loss of life is not too great and the damage will be easily and quickly repaired. The Japanese people are strong and resilient and I'm certain they will bounce back from this tragedy just as they have in the past.

Yesterday I went to look at a motorcycle at one of the local dealers here in Tucson. I bought a 2003 Honda VTX 1300 Retro S in Amarillo a few months back. The bike was very clean and well taken care of and the price was good so I bought it. At the time I thought Nancy and I would be spending more time riding together and the VTX is a big comfy cruiser for two up riding.

Well, as it turned out we don't spend much time riding together and that leaves me riding a large slow handling motorcycle by myself all the time. Not my style. The bike was very good at going straight down the highway but little else. The ground clearance was almost non-existent, the brakes were weak and the suspension too soft for any back road riding.

Before we started full timing I had a number of motorcycles, most were collectibles. My daily driver was a 2007 Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide. I know many of you who know bikes are saying, "that's a very similar bike to that Honda VTX. How could he not like that VTX but like the Harley?" Simple, the Harley was a better motorcycle. The Harley was low slung too, but it had just enough additional ground clearance to make it possible to have some fun on the back roads. The suspension was soft but never wallowed until you were traveling well above legal speeds. Lastly the Harley had real brakes (triple floating disc with 4 pot calipers) and behaved better than the Honda when the brakes were applied.

Back to today... Yesterday, I brought the Honda to a local dealer to look at one of the bikes he had for sale and to talk a possible trade. Long story short, this morning the VTX was traded for a 2005 BMW F 650 CS. I went there looking for a used KLR 650 but upon seeing this little beemer and the like new condition it was in, fate was sealed.

I put 120 miles on the little fella today and I couldn't be happier! The little bike is a hoot! It cruises along happily at freeway speeds and is a downright blast on the back roads! The best part is the bike is light and nimble enough that Nancy could ride it in a pinch (something that would not have been possible with the VTX). Nancy says she is comfy sitting on the back with me riding so no issues there. And it came with a full set of BMW rainproof matching luggage! Other bonuses include, heated grips, ABS and a convenient 12 volt power socket. And did I tell you that it looks and rides like a new bike? The person who owned it before seems to have never even broken in the suspension! My big backside will certainly remedy that!! Oh, and it lowered my insurance by a couple hundred bucks a year to boot!!

After getting the bike deal squared away, Nancy and I had a craving for some Jamaican beef patties. This called for a trip into Tucson to 1070 North Swan road, the address of CeeDee authentic Jamaican food. Upon arrival, you could smell the curry goat and jerk chicken from the parking lot. Nancy went in and retrieved our beef patty fix while I waited in the car with the dogs. The prize she returned with really hit the spot! Perfectly prepared authentic Jamaican beef patties, just the right amount of spicy, beefy goodness in a flaky pocket. And to wash it down, two authentic Jamaican fruit punch sodas. Excellent lunch!! We hope to get back there before we leave to try a few more of their Jamaican specialties later in the week.

From there we decided to drive over to the site of the Safeway Tucson shootings. The news here is still rife with updates of the Tucson shootings that left 6 dead and 14 wounded including congresswoman Giffords. For the most part, the site of those Jan. 8th shootings is business as usual. Only the sight of six white crosses across the street from the Safeway parking lot gives away the secret. It's terrible how the actions of one deranged man can have such far reaching consequences. I hope the victims and their families can find peace again soon.

Upon returning the the rig, I assembled the portable grill Nancy bought yesterday with our American Express rewards Home Depot gift cards. I'm amazed we made it this long without a grill. We gave the grill a nice break in for dinner tonight as I made us two sirloins with some famous dave's rub. As a side, I prepared two foil packets filled with red potatoes, rosemary, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper and olive oil. Nancy put together some delicious sweet corn and we had our first grilled meal as full-timers. WooHoo!

We closed out the events of the day with another of Arizona's famous desert sunsets.

Not quite as spectacular as some, but glorious none the less.

Have a great day everybody!!



  1. Can't believe you started on this journey without a grill. Jim accuses me of joining the LEOs (Let's Eat Out)but if we do stay home, he's out there with the grill most days. I've almost forgotten how to cook anything else.

  2. No grill? How?
    We are now following you. We are also riders. We dont have any of our bikes with us now, but have found a way to do that and will be back to get it in April! Woo Hoo!!

  3. Hi Sandy,

    Notice how you say "he's out there with the grill most days"? That was my motivation for not getting a grill! LOL! As long as we didn't have a grill I rarely had to cook!



    Now you know my secret as to why we waited so long to get a grill!
    Once we started full-timing one of the first things I did (before getting a grill) was find a way to hook up a bike and a car behind the rig. I found a Tandem Tow dolly in TN. used for a good price and picked it up. They are made by RaceCity products and allow you to tow a car and 1 or two bikes depending on your personal configuration.